E-custody System to be Launched in Odisha’s Jails
Under the Odisha government’s 5T (transparency, teamwork, technology, timeframe, and transformation) initiative, the state’s prison directorate has decided to introduce an e-custody system in jails. Upon implementation of this system, the e-custody certificates of the prisoners can be sent online to the courts instantly.
Additionally, a laptop has been provided to each jail to facilitate smooth functioning of ‘e-mulakat’ and video conferencing with the courts under the e-prisons project.
“We are set to hold jail adalats inside prisons from April. The objective of the jail adalat is to ensure the speedy disposal of court cases, involving petty offences, as well as quick settlement of the cases in the presence of the under-trial prisoners (UTPs). Cases relating to petty offences, which are compoundable in nature and invite a jail-term of only one or two years, would be quickly disposed of by judicial magistrates”, said Santosh Upadhyay, the director general of police (prisons and correctional services).
With the help of jail adalats, the UTPs would get an opportunity to settle the cases quickly in the prisons themselves. Under the plea bargaining system, a judge can dispose of petty cases by ordering less punishment or fines for the UTPs, if the accused pleads guilty.
The jail adalats would also be beneficial to the inmates who are unable to come out even after getting bail. Notably, around 381 prisoners are currently lodged in different jails in the capital city for their failure to comply with the bail conditions and inability to furnish sureties.